Subic emerges as PH’s new Mice hub
Subic Bay Freeport Zone lays its claims as one of the country’s top convention hubs as it hosts the first Asia Pacific Drive Tourism Conference, Auto and Travel Show on Jan. 29 to Feb. 2.
A first of its kind in the country, the five-day confab and expo is presented by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP), the National Auto Club and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
The event which will be held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center, will also strengthen the Freeport’s bid as one of the country’s top meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) centers. The former US naval base, a master-planned community, has an array of accommodation and convention facilities which can host national and international gatherings.
Keynoting the event are Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. and Jean Todt, president of the Paris-based Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA), the world’s largest group of car clubs and motorsports associations with over 200 member organizations in 132 countries.
Other invited speakers are the transport ministers of Sri Lanka, Malaysia and New Zealand, and the tourism ministers of Nepal, Maldives, Palau, Bhutan and Thailand, Automobile Association of Upper India president TK Malhotra and FIA Region 2 president Ross Heron, as well as representatives from the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Unescap).
The conference will serve as the market launch of the DOT’s Drive Tourism program in coordination with AAP which aims to consolidate the components of all tourism-oriented road and driving activities.
“Drive Tourism is where participants move through a tourism highway or road network that allows them to see diverse attractions on the road and experience the local way of life,” says Jimenez.
He adds that the pioneering event will include presentations on the latest innovations in the automobile industry, road safety, mobility, motorsports, travel and tourism from both local and international specialists during the conference and exhibition.
He says that AAP has been undertaking caravans in various provinces to boost domestic tourism and provide income opportunities in the countryside.
Unlike seat-in-coach tours, allows participants to tailor fit itineraries based on their preferences, such as culture and heritage, water sports or culinary adventure for a complete travel experience.
The Conference will also see the groundbreaking of the Subic Children’s Road Safety Park, which will serve as an educational stage to teach the culture of road safety and discipline among children. The first of its kind in the country, it will serve as the model of similar projects envisioned to be set up in every region.
With the theme, “Saving Lives, Saving Costs, and Saving the Planet”, the event supports the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 with the objective to save five million lives and prevent 50 million road injuries.
After the conference proper, the Auto and Travel Show (Admission Free) runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 which will feature super deals in automobiles, accessories, tour packages, travel essentials, Filipino regional cuisine and recreational activities at the Children’s Fun plaza rides.
There will also be the first Dream Car Parade of vintage, classic and modern automobiles with car enthusiast celebrity Willie Revillame scheduled on Feb. 1. Admission is free.
This event is presented in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Tourism Promotions Board, Duty Free Philippines, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi), the SBMA, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Qatar Airways, and North Luzon Expressway.
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